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Poster: Reade Date: Nov 22, 2011 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened?

There was quite a discussion recently on more or less this same thing....

http://www.archive.org/post/402063/1973-is-just-so-good

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Nov 22, 2011 4:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened? LIA can you help?

thanks for the link. But I'm really more interested in the rapid change in sound quality at the border of the year.

You go from 1972-12-10 and 12-15 which are OK quality. Good enough. Then there is 1972-12-31 that sounds really good. Likely the best board since sept. or august. But then comes feb 73 and wow, an improvement even from the view of 12-31 which sounds great. A seriously drastic change in sound from 12-10 to 02-24.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Nov 22, 2011 5:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened? LIA can you help?

The Wall of Sound (WOS) concept that we saw in full fledged form throughout 1974 really saw its debut on 12/31/72. I'm talking about the whole idea of the band being immersed in the sound field of the PA in order to become more unified with the audience. They brought in those noise-cancelling mics that you see in photos from the WOS era. The vocalists would sing into the top mic, which was run out of phase with the lower mic thereby leaving only the vocals and eliminating the sound of instruments coming from the PA that would bleed into the vocal mics.

I don't have a reference for that information but I remember reading about this someplace... as far as why sound quality of recordings is much better... I won't pull that out of my ass so I hand off the baton to someone else.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Nov 22, 2011 6:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened? LIA can you help?

The second B&K microphone in the inverted stack during the WOS era was a phase cancelling technique intended to minimize feedback; feedback: something that plagued the Dead & Hendrix though they both learned how to create something musical out of it!



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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Nov 22, 2011 7:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened? LIA can you help?

You are right - an absolutely necessary setup for the WOS PA system, where the PA speakers are blasting directly into the microphones. The feedback would have been unmanageable without this microphone design and the WOS PA/monitor impossible. Typical PA systems project into the room and not through the stage as they do not double as the monitors.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 22, 2011 6:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened? LIA can you help?

There are a couple possible reasons.

The Dead had a mishap with their recording in October '72 - Latvala said, "Bear told me a story about how a major piece of recording equipment got stolen on 10/21, and basically disrupted the taping of shows for the rest of the year, other than 3 shows at Winterland in Dec."
Not sure just what got stolen or whether the Dead just got a temporary crappy replacement for it, but indeed the taping & mixing quality takes a nosedive starting with 10/21 and continuing through the rest of the fall.
So by the turn of the year I guess they got better taping equipment!

But there's something else to consider - the taper. Bear taped the late '72 shows from August on. He did a sterling job up to 10/18, but after that seems to have adopted a variety of approaches in taping. Sometimes he taped on reels, sometimes on 90-minute Ampex cassettes. Some nights he taped from the audience rather than from the soundboard. Some nights have very strange mixes (said to be from Phil's monitor mix).
But in 1973, Bear apparently stopped touring with the band (he'd been getting in some hassles with the rest of the sound crew), and Kidd Candelario became the taper. (Kidd was Keith's sound tech.)
Betty also taped some shows in early '73, but Kidd was basically the main taper from Feb '73 through Sep '74. So when you're praising the sound quality from those years, it's his work.

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2011-11-23 02:54:48

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Nov 22, 2011 11:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What happened? LIA can you help?

thanks much. Appreciate it.